Seven Steps to Securing More B2B Sales through Intelligent Marketing
When you are planning your outbound marketing strategy, it can't be done in a vacuum.
The differing forces that affect sales are predominately from the customer's perspective. We are no longer in a market which is sales driven, rather, it is driven by the consumer every time.
These Seven Steps to Securing Sales will help you to understand the importance of alignment, i.e. your activities and those of your prospects.
With Social Media being so prevalent and wide-spread, the slightest aberration in the service, delivery or presentation of your product or service can be highlighted to the masses or at least to anyone who wants to find out!
So what is the best way to enthuse your potential customers?
- To begin with, you must recognise and understand the thought process that we all go through when we buy something - The Buying Process
- Then you must evaluate the acquisition of new business, that is the way you think the process works - The Sales Process
- Finally you need to ask yourself, "how do we align our Marketing Process to fit in with the above two processes?"
Marketing has changed. It's not that you need to change what you say, but what you do.
There is a defined sequence of events that, individually don't mean a great deal, however, when combined, they add up to establishing a picture of your prospect and the path they are following to naturally conclude the sale.
The Problem Revealed
The above illustration begins with a prospect becoming aware of a problem within his or her business. This leads to a realisation that your type of product is needed. In order to fulfil the business person's desire to solve this emerging problem, they will start finding out about solutions.
At this stage, if they are interested in you and your product or service, you have to match their "movement". It’s at this point that you need to ask for permission to market to them. Without being invited to maintain contact you are not "congruent" and are existing on opposite paths.
The next phase establishes that you may indeed be able to help the prospect, but do not be tempted to jump in and contact them direct. They haven't agreed to that, not for a while to come.
As they become more educated and conversant with their defined problem and possible solutions they become more adept at sourcing more information including analyst’s reviews, attending exhibitions and so on.
Don't Scare Them Away!
Depending on the scale of the problem they have, the MAN (Money Authority Need) may become more involved with other solution seekers. There are numerous places where these solution seekers will hang out, for example forums, exhibitions and seminars. They will also be looking at online content, such as blogs, videos and even podcasts. You need to be able to provide content in a format that your potential customers will consume, and typically this content will be posted on your website. But be careful not to make every post a 'sales' post. Your prospects will sense the ulterior motive and you will 'scare' them away! You need to build trust and you will do this by providing quality, informational content.
Once you've established exactly how much contact your prospect has had with your business, your discernment will dictate if you feel the time is right to contact them. Think about it. Would you feel comfortable with a cold call after you've spent hours in the company of a prospective supplier, be it online or at exhibitions and seminars/webinars? I know I would, especially if the contact processes kept me engaged and I felt there wasn't a sense of urgency, but a sense of calm and customer service.
Perhaps now would be a good time to see the product through evaluation or speak to another business who has experienced the "solution" first hand.
By this time, as so much investigation and justification for the purchase has been confirmed, the natural conclusion would be to buy the product.
So finally, having completed a sequence of defined steps and processes the sales is made. However, the point of this exercise is to illustrate that the more effective your marketing process is, the more credible your sales process.
When this process is aligned with the 'psychology of buying' you are able to concentrate on honing your marketing efforts as they lead to a natural conclusion.
Whether you ask us to get involved or take on the marketing yourself, our years of experience compels us to encourage you to plan ahead using a framework like sX Social 334 to ensure you have a linear process from engagement (sX Social 334) to introduction (sX Launch) to the sale and on to realising long term value from your existing and future customers (sX Syndicates).
Enjoy the website and call us if you would like to chat about your business.
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About the Author
Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping businesses for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.